Omar Cantu

Associate Principal, Health, Dallas

In Omar’s view, the more pieces to a puzzle, the better. The native Texan began working in healthcare design at the very start of his career, gravitating to the complexity of large hospitals and medical centers. Long-time clients anticipate his eyes to light up when a brief gets complicated. He likes efficiency—ordering the world a little more clearly than he found it—and he likes details. He likes talking to healthcare workers so he can visualize their process and flip a layout around in his head until it’s right. In healthcare design, Omar sees the opportunity to help alleviate unnecessary stress where people need that the most.

After work, Omar is happy to grab a brisket taco and build Lego sets with his two kids, sharing the activity that drew him to architecture in the very beginning.

Omar stands on site in a hard hat
"Healthcare designers don’t heal people with our hands—we create the spaces for physicians to heal people with theirs."
Quite the Coincidence

For his thesis in graduate school, Omar decided to reimagine an abandoned site in Dallas: the old Dallas High School, shuttered and idle downtown. Working toward a certificate in healthcare and historic preservation, he spent months designing the school’s hypothetical new life as a rehab hospital. Omar came to know the building intimately, meeting with the historical society and the school district, poring over old plans, drafting ideas for a transformation.

More than a decade later, long after Omar completed the successful thesis, graduated, and began his professional career, the high school was renovated for real. We played a part, and Omar joined the project team. The building he happened to know so well became our Dallas studio.

Omar stands smiling near the San Antonio river walk
Omar's Winning Pumpkins

For several consecutive years, Omar took first place in our Halloween pumpkin-decorating contest, creating everything from a Pumpkin Loch Ness Monster to Pumpkin Willie Nelson.

Omar's Featured Work

Our Dallas Studio
Dallas, Texas